1998 interview

Jay-Z, photographed for the January 1998 issue of Interview magazine by David Barry. Hov was featured in the magazine alongside a review of his second studio album, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1. He was styled in Tod’s Italian boots and a Ralph Lauren suit with RL accessories by Jennie Lopez. According to her, Hov arrived three hours late and didn’t want to be tailored.

The feature, titled “Hip-Hop’s Hemingway” and written by singer-songwriter Dimitri Ehrlich, read as follows: “In boxing, the best fighter in the world is established as indisputable fact based on who cleans whose clock more efficiently. In rap battles, "the greatest” is a more ambiguous title. At the moment, so many hip-hop pundits are pinning that tag on Jay-Z, there’s a risk of it becoming reality by force of repetition. There’s also the risk of inferring greatness by association: Jay-Z collaborated often with the late Notorious B.I.G., and on the 27-year-old’s new album, ‘In My Lifetime, Vol.1,’ he’s joined by the heavyweights of modern black music: Puff Daddy, Lil’ Kim, Teddy Riley, Foxy Brown, and Babyface. But it’s Jay-Z who holds the album together, and it’s his Brooklyn B-boy voice we remember when the record ends. He raps with a nearly accidental eloquence that breathes life into what might otherwise be just the same old tales in the life of a player. He’s the Hemingway of hip-hop, spilling words as easily as most of us spill a drink. Armed with a microphone and a mind like a microphone, Jay-Z accumulates pointillistic details until they add up to a living, breathing whole. 'It’s the sight and sounds and smell of a thing that you have to capture to be a great rapper,’ he says. 'That’s how you bring listeners into the story, so they can close their eyes and it’s almost like they’re there.’“

Interview : so how do you get through snack attacks?

Aaliyah : It’s really weird, but once you start living without something, you crave it less, you find that there’s alot of other really amazing stuff to eat. I love pizza, but I don’t eat cheese anymore. That’s okay though,because there’s a place in Los Angeles called California Pizza Kitchen that makes an incredible grilled eggplant cheeseless pizza. I’m also into turkey bacon and sausage. And Dion gave me the magic plan. One day a week I can eat whatever I want.


@heart-attack-harry’s request: Behind The Music’s segment on Stevie starting a solo career.

It had nothing to do with me wanting to leave the band and everything to do with me just wanting to have another outlet for my songs, so that I didn’t feel like I was writing for nothing. Two songs every two or three years is not very much for a prolific songwriter.”

We know your all good family men, but surely you must have had interest at shows from young ladies like everyone else?
“Tre,” Billie Joe laughs. “Girls are nice,” Tre smiles. “They’re fun, if girls want to hang out that’s cool. We like boys, too, though.”
—  Kerrang! 1998

Interviewer : On that day what’s the first thing you go for?

Aaliyah : First I’ll hit this place in LA called Roscoe’s House of Chicken N Waffles and have a plate of waffles. Then I’ll go to Baskin-Robbins, where I’ll have a Jamoca ice cream my favorite sundae : Vanilla ice cream with vanilla syrup, nuts, whipped cream and cherries.